Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Metro Journal: Following the Beeline

The city of Glendale, where I live, recently completed a survey of its municipal public transportation line, called the Beeline. You probably don't want to read all 266 pages (I think the people who put these reports together must get paid by the page), and neither do I. I did peek at some of the charts, though. One of the very interesting ones had a field for cost per rider, based on the number of miles traveled and the average passenger load. While a ride on the Beeline only costs 25 cents for an adult fare, the cost per weekday passenger varied from $1.13 to $5.68 each. (Guess which line is most likely to get the ax.) Wow, that means the city is doing serious subsidization of the service. Now, there are hidden cost benefits to public transportation, including less wear and tear on roads that the city has to fix, and it also makes the city more appealing to some would-be residents and businesses, but those are very thought-provoking numbers.

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